Wood has always been a popular material. Since ancient times, we have used wood to build houses and burn for heating. Recently, we have used wood for furniture, decorative objects and so on.
Nowadays, using laser engraved wood is also becoming more and more popular. It is among the most popular and profitable items on many business platforms.
However, laser engraved wood is subject to some obstacles. For example, when cutting laser engraver for wood, there is a tendency for burn marks to appear on the cutting edges. For a beautifully finished product, dark burn marks can seriously affect the aesthetics of the product.
In this article, we will provide useful tips for handling engraved wood.
Causes of laser burn marks on wood
Burn marks on wood are not a result of the laser damaging the wood but rather the heat from the fumes generated during the engraving/cutting process quickly adhering to the cutting edge. The heat from the dust causes burn marks on the cutting edge. There are two main causes of burn marks when laser engraving wood:
The most direct cause of burn marks on the edges of laser engraved wood is the excessive energy of the laser beam, which produces heat that the machine can not dissipate in time.
At the same time, the debris produced during the laser engraving process can cause more serious damage if it is not absorbed and discharged outdoors in time. This may lead to an increase in the area burned.
Contact honeycomb panels
However, this situation is also directly related to the nature of the wood itself. If the engraved wood is too thin, using a honeycomb with poor heat dissipation during engraving will easily reach the temperature at which the wood burns. As a result, there will be burn marks on both sides of the wood.
Types of laser engraved wood
Different types of wood show the laser cutting effect differently. Many of the common ones on the market are plywood or particle board. These are made by gluing the wood together with glue. The most common types of plywood are MDF, and for simple textured carvings, you can choose softwood. We hope that this will help you in your future choice.
- Softwoods: Softwoods are soft, even-grained, and have low strength. Laser engraving of this type of wood requires a low power setting and is less difficult to engrave. We commonly see red pine, basswood, and poplar as softwoods.
- Hardwoods: The most important characteristic of these woods is that they are compact, such as date palm and elm. We need to use more power when engraving, so engraving hardwoods are more likely to produce scorch marks.
- Veneer: Veneer is mainly scraps of wood glued onto a complete piece of material. Whether or can cut not this material depends on the central material.
- Plywood: Plywood is one of the most difficult woods to cut and one of the least likely to catch fire. It is now the ideal material for wooden floors and cabinets.
How to prevent burn marks when laser engraved wood
To engrave/cut a perfect pattern, you can protect yourself before you cut. After all, it can prevent most wood burns in advance. Here are some recommended ways to avoid burn marks in laser engraved wood.
Use masking tape: Cover the entire surface before laser engraving the wood. This is one of the most effective ways to prevent burn marks.
Change the machine settings: Choose a lower power level and recommend that you refer to the focus parameters table to select the most suitable focus parameters for your wood engraving.
Air Assist: This is one of the most effective ways to reduce burn marks during laser engraving of wood. However, the use of air assistance can have an impact on the accuracy of the engraving. If you are a beginner, it is recommended that you try it in other woods first.
Wetting the wood: Lightly wetting the surface of the wood before engraving/cutting will help avoid burn marks. Be careful, however, not to soak the wood for too long.
How to remove burn marks from laser engraved wood
Once the engraving has been completed, the burn marks on the wood can sand using a sander. If the engraving is fine, choosing large grit sandpaper for sanding is advisable to maintain the design's beauty.
This is a masking method where the burnished wood is painted differently to give a more pronounced contrast to the carved area.
Rubbing with alcohol
For stubborn burn marks, you can use industrial alcohol or polish to clean them up.
If the burnishing is very light, you can remove it by washing it with water.
Gently rub pumice soap into the burnished area to clean the crevices and other small areas.
So far, you have gained an initial understanding of the burn marks that occur in laser engraved wood. We have also provided solutions for burn marks in engraved wood, but if they are very severe, there may be no way to remove them 100%. The best way to avoid burn marks on wood is to take precautions before engraving.
If you are still considering which machine is more suitable, you can check out the machines on our website. If you have any questions, you can ask our online customer service.